Ford Coca-Cola 600 Qualifying Quotes

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:
Coca-Cola 600 Qualifying (Charlotte Motor Speedway)
Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ford Qualifying Results:

7th – Greg Biffle

American Muscle

13th – Carl Edwards

18th – Aric Almirola

19th – Marcos Ambrose

20th – Brad Keselowski

21st – Casey Mears

26th – David Gilliland

29th – Trevor Bayne

30th – Ricky Stenhouse

35th – David Ragan


BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – “We certainly improved from where we were in practice, but obviously we’re not quite as strong as we wanted to be.  Qualifying has not been our strong suit.  It looks like we’ll maybe end up in the front half of the field, but I feel confident we’ll be really good in the race.”

WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTING ON SUNDAY?  “The pace change between day to night is always very significant and requires almost two different setups in the car, so having a lot of adjustability and being with a team that can do that well is what’s gonna showcase the most speed and give a team the opportunity to win.”

DOES IT MATTER WHERE YOU START?  “It matters in the sense of pit stall selection and the opportunity to get in a wreck very early.  Other than that, no it doesn’t.”


JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – “It was ugly.  We landed and just crashed the splitter and went up the race track, up a lane, lifting at the wall.  Nothing good happened.  Thank goodness we’ve got 600 miles in this Coke 600, so we’ll wait and see what happens.  I feel like my car was good in race trim earlier today.  We practiced a lot in race trim and didn’t spend as much time in qualifying trim.  I guess this is what we get, so we’ll start in the back and work our way up.”

WHAT KIND OF RACE ARE YOU EXPECTING ON SUNDAY?  “I’d expect something not very different from the All-Star Race as far as the way we raced each other.  I’ll be looking for the same thing from my race car that I did in the race there, so I feel like in practice you always have a little better read for what you’re looking for and I think we’ll be alright.”


RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – No. 17 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “That was really frustrating.  We were 10 times better last week, so I don’t know.  We thought we had the same thing, but apparently we don’t.  We definitely have to go to work on it Saturday and try to get it better, but it’s pretty disappointing.  After the run we had last week we felt like we were pretty fast in the race and fast through practice and qualifying, and now we’re not even close.  We’ll have to work on it.”


CASEY MEARS – No. 13 Geico Ford Fusion – “I think it was decent.  We beat some respectable guys, but obviously the track is gonna get quicker.  I had to pedal it a little bit just past the center of one and two.  I think we could have run a .90, but it got just a little bit tight.  All in all it’s not too bad.  The track is gonna get faster and there are still a lot of good guys to go yet, so it’ll be interesting to see where it all stacks up, but it wasn’t too bad.”


TREVOR BAYNE – No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion – “The results aren’t what we wanted at all, but the thing was stuck through one and two.  I felt like we had to be on the pole off of two, but then I got over to turn three where the sun was shining and it was just so hot and slick.  I don’t know if some of those guys caught a cloud or what, but if we could have gone out late at night, I honestly think we had a shot at the pole as good as our car was in the shaded areas.  In those hot areas we were just way too tight.”


ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion – “We missed it a little bit.  I thought there was gonna be more grip out there and I committed to there being more grip out there and I just overdrove the car.  I thought there was gonna be substantially more grip and there really wasn’t enough to go as fast as I was trying to go.  That should be OK.  I don’t think it will be horrible.  We expected a whole lot more than that after being fifth in practice.  We thought we were gonna be really good, so I’m a little bit disappointed, but it’s a long race and last year we started first and didn’t finish first, so this year it’s more important to finish first.”


GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “That’s all I’ve got.  I didn’t have any more.  It was perfect on both ends.  I just breathed the throttle down there in one and two.  I let off less than I thought I should have down here and the car just kind of slid the front, slid the back, slid the front, but didn’t move up the track.  I felt like, ‘Oh my gosh, that was phenomenal.  I got it perfect,’ because hardly ever can you say you got it perfect, but I got every ounce that car could get but didn’t scrub any speed and didn’t leave any on the table and we’re about a tenth-and-a-half off.”

YOU WENT OVER TO KURT BUSCH AND FELT HIS FOREHEAD TO SEE IF HE WAS OK.  “I know how fast I went and how on edge and how much of a nail-biter it was, so I had to check his temperature to see if he was feeling OK to drive it that fast.  His car has to be really good, but my Fastenal Fusion is really good.  I’m glad we made some gains on it, but this has not been our problem – qualifying.  Lap 25, 50, 100 is where we’ve lacked a little bit, so that’s what we’re gonna focus on Saturday.  Hopefully, we’ll be a top-10 starting spot for the 600-mile race.”

YOU’RE PRETTY GOOD AT GETTING YOURSELF IN CONTENTION, SO THAT’S THE PLAN THE LAST 100 MILES ON SUNDAY, RIGHT?  “Yeah, we feel like we can and we’re just gonna work hard on it Saturday.  We think we learned a little bit today in practice, so we’ll carry that into Saturday and into Sunday.”


DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion – “We were a little tight in three and four, but we picked up quite a bit of speed and that’s not a bad effort for us.  We beat a lot of good cars, so I’m proud of the guys on our Long John Silver’s Ford.  We practiced qualifying stuff today and it’s paid off.  This is gonna probably be better than we’ve qualified here in the past, so we’ll build on it.  I’m proud of the guys.  The draw always helps.  Last week, we were first, so we’ll take the better draw this week.”


CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion – “I wish I was happy with that, but I’m not.  We’ve got a faster car than that.  I just asked for some adjustments that we didn’t need.  I think it would have been better if I’d have left it alone after practice, but the track changes so much you try to hit this moving target and we didn’t hit it.  But I think we’ve got a pretty good race car.  Hopefully, that will hold up for a top-10 or 12 starting spot.  It’s a 600-mile race.  That’s not what we want, but that’s acceptable for here.”

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